Brian Kahn

Brian Kahn

Posts by This Writer

9 years 2 months ago

How strong is your knowledge of climate change? If you’re the average American, sad to say you’d probably get a failing grade according to a new study by Yale University’s Project on Climate Change Communication. A shocking 57% of Americans recently surveyed got an “F,” indicating that there’s a steep hill to climb to an educated public.

This is but one of a few striking findings in the survey. What stands out most is what a poor job of scientists and the media are doing communicating their work and their positions. Only 11% of those surveyed considered...


9 years 2 months ago

Today is 350.org’s climate change Day of Action. Nearly 7350 events in 188 countries have people coming together to promote the slogan “if we can get to work, so can you!” in an effort to push governments towards responsible energy policy. Events will be taking place in the expected places such as Portland and Berkeley. But there are also unexpected locales like Kabul, Afghanistan where people will be asking for climate action. The question is will governments listen?

In the invitation, 350 founder Bill McKibben writes “...


9 years 2 months ago

Which companies are committed to reducing the causes of climate change? The Carbon Disclosure Project recently released its 2010 reports on companies in both the Global 500 and S &P 500. The reports chronicle companies’ efforts to be more transparent about their carbon emissions and their efforts to reduce them.

The reports are based on voluntary responses to questionnaires the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) issues each year. In 10 years of existence, CDP has seen its response rate increase by over 1000%. This year, 82% of the Global...


9 years 2 months ago

Our understanding of climate change could get a boost from Victorian scientists. A recent study by the Journal of Ecology shows how flowers picked over 150 years ago could offer researchers a bigger picture of the effects of climate change.

Scientists use proxy data to look at the Earth’s climate in the past. This proxy data can include ice cores, tree rings, and ocean sediment. Each of these forms of data provides varying views at Earth’s temperature and other climatological phenomenon of the past.

The new study, by ecologists from the University of...


9 years 3 months ago

When I’m not writing about climate change for Justmeans, I work with the public communicating the value of federal lands. The other day I had a conversation with a visitor who told me he had owned a ranch for 40 years. We were discussing climate and raising livestock. In the course of our conversation, he told me “I don’t believe in global warming.” It wasn’t the semantics of global warming versus climate change that struck me. Instead it was use of the word “belief.”

Some people will talk about climate change in terms of believing in it or not. However, belief doesn’t have a place...


9 years 3 months ago

Climate change poses a great set of risks to mankind. Who knows better how to deal with, assess, and respond to risk than insurers? The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) ClimateWise, the Geneva Association, the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII) have teamed up to offer suggestions on how to better integrate insurers into efforts to adapt to climate change.

Their statement is backed by over 100 of the world’s leading insurers. These insurers have a major stake in dealing with the effects of...


9 years 3 months ago

Will the warmer temperatures and extra carbon dioxide that come with climate change improve plant growth? The answer is not forever. In fact, it’s possible we’ve reached a point where plant growth will actually decline globally due to climate change.

NASA scientists recently published a study in the journal Science showing that since 2000, global plant productivity declined by 1%. This decrease comes in spite of increased productivity in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly at higher latitudes, during that time. A drying trend in the Southern Hemisphere is...


9 years 3 months ago
How can you tell if climate change is happening? It’s certainly hard to look out your window and point it out. However, long-term monitoring of certain indicators is an important piece of putting together the climate change puzzle.
Indicators can range from the obvious such as temperature to the more subtle such as bird migration patterns and the timing of spring flower blooms. Climate change monitoring is getting a huge boost from a growing effort by some organizations and individuals trying to keep track of some of these indicators.
...

9 years 4 months ago

Is biochar the answer to reducing the causes of climate change? Depends on who you ask. A new study from the University of Sydney shows that biochar could reduce nitrous oxide emissions by more than 70% in addition to sequestering tons of carbon dioxide.

Biochar has a bit of a cult following. Advocates from Professor Johannes Lehmann at Cornell to more celebrity personalities like Richard Branson endorse biochar as a solution to mitigate ...


9 years 4 months ago

Climate change skeptics, beware. The fight against your misinformation just took a technological leap. No, it’s not windmills or solar panels. Skepticalscience.com has recently released an app for both the iPhone and Android phones that looks to shoot down their shoddy take on science. The best part? It’s free!

The science of climate change isn’t always easy to understand. There are intricacies, big concepts, and uncertainties. This sometimes make it...


Pages